SAN FRANCISCO Oct 5 Thousands of workers went
on strike Friday at a Foxconn plant in central China that makes
Apple Inc's iPhone 5, paralyzing production of the
smartphone, the rights advocate group China Labor Watch
The reported strike comes at a crucial time for the U.S.
corporation, weeks after kicking off its largest-ever global
rollout of the smartphone. Apple is already struggling with
supply constraints, analysts say.
Citing workers, the labor group said 3,000 to 4,000 workers
began their strike at Foxconn's Zhengzhou complex in central
China in the afternoon, angered by over-exacting quality
controls as well as demands they work through the week-long
National Day holidays, which began on Monday.
The strike could not be immediately confirmed, and nor was
it clear whether the stoppage was over or continuing. Some
Chinese media carried reports of the China Labor Watch account,
but did not offer any verification.
Apple declined to comment. A Foxconn spokesman said the
company was "gathering facts" on the reported strike and would
issue a statement when ready.
Tensions have boiled over repeatedly in factories operated
by Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing giant that
employs more than a million and makes most of the world's iPads
and iPhones. Last month, thousands rioted at its Taiyuan
facility in northern China, disrupting production for about 24
hours and underscoring the potential for labor unrest.
"In addition to demanding that workers work during the
holiday, Foxconn raised overly strict demands on product quality
without providing worker training for the corresponding skills,"
the Watch said in a statement on its website ().
"Additionally, quality control inspectors fell into
conflicts with workers and were beat up multiple times by
workers. Factory management turned a deaf ear to complaints
about these conflicts and took no corrective measures."
The group did not say in its release when work might resume.
Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan, the trading name of Hon
Hai Precision Industry Co, is the world's largest
contract maker of electronics for global brands such as Hewlett
Packard Co, Nokia and Dell Inc.
Apple and Foxconn have come under fire for poor working
conditions and wages at plants across China. In response, they
have organized an audit of factory conditions, raised wages,
improved safety and reduced overtime, among other measures.
Apple's chief executive officer Tim Cook visited Foxconn's
vast complex on the far outskirts of Zhengzhou in late March.